India’s First Underwater Metro To Be Opened To The Public Soon, Says Rail Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

On Wednesday, June 20, Rail Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the Howrah Maidan to Esplanade stretch of the East-West Metro, which runs under the Hooghly River, is expected to be opened to the public soon after taking all precautions. Later, a railway spokesperson said that the section is expected to be opened to the public by December this year.


On Wednesday 20, before undertaking an inspection of the tunnel built 16 metres below the river by the rail minister, he told the reporters, "The stretch is expected to be opened soon, after completing all necessary safety tests and being inspected by the Commissioner of Railway Safety... This under-river tunnel is a milestone."

The Rail minister, along with Metro Rail General Manager P. Uday Kumar Reddy and several Senior Officers of Metro Railway, on Wednesday 20, undertook a trolley inspection through the tunnel from Howrah Maidan to Howrah station, which is going to be the deepest metro station in India, built 33 metres below the surface with four underground levels over a 5 lakh sq ft area. On that day, Ashwini Vaishnaw also completed his inspection on the other side of the Ganga River, i.e., Esplanade Station.


The Metro Rail General Manager briefed Minister Vaishnaw about the tunnel ventilation system, tunnel lightning system, and power supply system, as well as the train operations on this stretch, with the help of 3-D models and diagrams.

The rail minister, after completing the inspection, expressed his satisfaction and hope that the entire 4.8-km-long east-west metro stretch from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade will be opened to the public by December 2023.

On April 12, Kolkata Metro created history when a metro train ran for the first time through a tunnel under the Ganga River for the first time in the country.

The minister said that adequate funds have been allocated for all the metro projects in the city, and the central government is closely monitoring the progress of the works.

The Metro spokesperson expects that once commissioned, the Metro corridor will connect the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata and carry 6.7 lakh passengers daily.

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